Australian news, and some related international items

Thorium mining illegal in Victoria – but watch this space, and watch Dr John White

White,-JohnThe Liberal Party’s nuclear dreams: The strange case of Dr John White and Ignite, Independent Australia Sandi Keane 12 March 2014,   

Why were Ignite Energy so desparate to dissociate their director Dr John White from both the nuclear industry and the Liberal Party? Deputy editor Sandi Keaneinvestigates.

IS THE nuclear fantasy that has taken hold in South Australia poised to slip under Victoria’s ‘no nukes‘ radar?

More to the point, is the iconic Ninety Mile Beach region of Gippsland being eyed off as a future source of thorium – uranium’s young sister – the substance hailed by nuclear proponents as the green energy source of the future?………

Enquiries to both the Sydney and Melbourne offices of Ignite confirmed that, yes, Dr White was still one of its key people — manager, government and community liaison. Less than five months ago, he was introduced as Ignite’s “executive director” in an interview with the ABC’s The World Today on 17 October 2013. Indeed, the receptionist at Ignite thought that the ‘executive director’ title was still listed on Dr White’s CV.

So, why delete it from the website and have conniptions over us publishing his connections to the Uranium Industry Framework? Also, what did Megan Davison mean by ‘casting aspersions’? Was it the reference to his being ‘a key Liberal Party adviser in the Howard-era’?

As chair of Howard’s Uranium Industry Framework and mastermind of the business plan for the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (now renamed the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Co-operation), ‘key adviser’ hardly seems to do him justice.

Is this a reaction to the claims by members of the Gippsland community that Ignite is getting favourable treatment because of John White’s special relationship with the Liberal Party?

ELA4968’s thorium prospects Continue reading

March 12, 2014 Posted by | reference, secrets and lies, uranium, Victoria | 1 Comment

Lucas Heights reactor medical Isotopes

1998 Both ANSTO and the government have sought to cloak rational discussion about the costs and benefits of a reactor under a dishonest claim that the reactor is vital for nuclear medicine. In fact medical isotopes can be easily obtained from a global market which already supplies many Australian hospitals.

a senior government bureaucrat who was quoted on the same ABC radio program saying: “The government decided to push the whole health line, and that included appealing to the emotion of people. … So it was reduced to one point, and an emotional one at that. They never tried to argue the science of it, the rationality of it”.ABC radio on March 29, 1998

The medical isotope rhetoric has become so implausible that the government is itself backing away from it. The parliamentary Public Works Committee produced a bipartisan report in August 1999 which said: “A number of organisations and individuals challenged the need for a research reactor based on a requirement to produce medical radiopharmaceuticals. … The Committee recognises that this issue has not been resolved satisfactorily.”

In fact, a nuclear reactor is likely to commit Australia decisively to the “nuclear club” by ensuring a seat on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA regulates the world’s nuclear industry and is also the world’s biggest promoter of nuclear energy.

It is unclear how our national interest is served by participating in the global spread of nuclear energy with its associated risks and waste problems. Professor McKinnon, who carried out the government’s 1993 Reactor Review, agreed, stating: “There may be national advantages in not being so closely associated with IAEA stances.”

Cyclotrons have important advantages over nuclear reactors in relation to radioactive waste and safety, and cyclotrons pose no risk in relation to weapons proliferation. The underlying reason for these advantages is that cyclotrons are powered by electricity, whereas research reactors rely on a uranium fission reaction.

December 9, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Some important details on the Trans Pacific Partnership

logo-anti-TPPArticle 12.8 gives rights holders the right to demand personal information about customers of Internet Service Providers – or other service providers – on a mere accusation. . This is a fundamental attack on the privacy of the citizens of all signatory countries. There is nothing to stop rights holders going on extensive fishing expeditions, searching through millions of users, looking for people to sue. This power is not granted to law enforcement without due process. Handing such powers to corporations without any requirement to show a breach has occurred is an attack upon the process of law. We have a right to not be placed under surveillance by companies based upon their word that illegal activity has occurred

highly-recommendedPirate Party Australia’s Presentation to Trans-Pacific Partnership Stakeholders Meeting in Melbourne  March 4, 2012 Here is the speech that was presented by Pirate Party Australia President David Campbell at 11.45am at the TPPA stakeholders meeting in Melbourne. Thanks to Simon Frew (Deputy President) for authoring the speech and Mozart Palmer (Media Relations) for his contributions.

Pirate Party Australia, like many other attendees at the intellectual property section of this Agreement negotiation, first became aware of the proposed intellectual property provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement when the United States negotiating position was leaked last year.[1]

Much of the content of the leak is a wish-list for old media corporations who refuse to adapt to the Internet and instead pay massive “donations” to their government in order to push their legislative agenda against the interests of modern society. This wish-list echoes that of the intellectual property segments of the Stop Online Piracy Act – known as SOPA – and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement – known as ACTA. The US TPPA provisions have been nicknamed “the son of ACTA”. The proposed solutions to online file-sharing will fundamentally change the operation of the Internet, to its detriment.

The extreme position of the leaked United States’ Intellectual Property chapter is highlighted by the unprecedented request for the negotiating texts to remain secret for four years after the agreement is signed. This secrecy is a perversion of democracy. The public would not be given a chance to oppose such a draconian attack on both the Internet and the civil liberties of citizens in all of the signatory countries. All of this to protect the corporate interests of a small sector of one industry? What about the cost to our democratic rights?……..

In Australia, we have seen the harm that tighter intellectual property restrictions can cause through the Australia–US Free Trade Agreement. The Productivity Commission, a body that investigates the economic benefit or hindrance of various Australian economic policies, warned that agreeing to intellectual property provisions in free trade agreements needs to be subjected to a rigorous cost/benefit analysis.

The Australia–US Free Trade Agreement is believed to cost the Australian economy between 88 million and 763 million dollars a year in copyright enforcement alone. This is wealth being directly transferred from Australia to the United States – there is no net benefit to Australia derived from the tighter restrictions.[2]

If the US delegation gets its way, that and more will be forced upon your people and local economy, to what benefit? We urge delegates to reject the inclusion of any intellectual property provisions in your own national interests as they WILL harm your economies. Continue reading

October 29, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, reference, secrets and lies | 2 Comments

St George and Sutherland Shire still want ANSTO’s nuclear facilities – just not the wastes!


The people of Sutherland Shire call on the government to address the long-term future of nuclear waste associated with the continued operation of the ANSTO reactor and increased waste production associated with the new nuclear medicine centre.’

‘‘The continued transportation of intermediate level radioactive waste to Lucas Heights in the form of reprocessed fuel represents an unnecessary risk to the surrounding residents and communities.’’.

Mayor reacts to ANSTO licence for new nuclear medicine facility at Lucas Heights  St George and Sutherland Shire Leader Oct. 4, 2013, .The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has issued a licence to the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation to prepare a site for the ANSTO Nuclear Medicine Molybdenum-99 Facility at Lucas Heights.

The move prompted Sutherland Shire mayor Steve Simpson to renew the council’s calls for the federal government to address the problem of long-term management of radioactive waste from the Lucas Heights centre and establish a national nuclear waste repository as priority.

‘‘The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has announced it has granted a licence for ANSTO to increase the production of medical isotopes,  which brings to the fore, the dire need for a permanent nuclear storage centre,’’ Cr Simpson said…….. Continue reading

October 5, 2013 Posted by | New South Wales, reference, wastes | 1 Comment

Indigenous Land Under Attack through ILUA Indigenous Land Use Agreement

justiceAustralia: ILUA Indigenous Land Use Agreement Equals Indigenous Land Under Attack   Native Title lawyers and anthropologists are deceiving claimants of their true Native Title rights and interests Michael Anderson said from Goodooga on July 2:2013

From my involvement in the Gomeroi Nation’s recent experiences with mining companies, who seek to destroy our Country, it is clear that the Native Title applicants and claimants are being maliciously misled in the Native Title process. The Sovereign Union is seeking legal advice about a class action against Native Title lawyers, anthropologists and the Federal government sponsored Native Title Representative bodies.
The NSW Native Title Corporation Representative body (NTSCorp), the majority of Native Title lawyers and anthropologists fail to inform the various Native Title applicants and claimants that their Law and custom incorporates, and is inclusive of, all flora and fauna that lives in and belongs to their territories.
In the Mabo No. 2 judgement the High Court held that Aboriginal connections to land under Law and custom establish a recognised legal proprietary interest in the claimed lands, waters and airspace.
Various land occupiers may hold the freehold, perpetual pastoral leases or other land titles exhaustively itemised in the Schedule to the Native Title Act but this does not extinguish First Nations Peoples’ proprietary interests in their plants, trees, medicines and shrubs, as well as the mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects and all naturally occurring living beings. Generally Native Title lawyers and anthropologists do not press these rights and interests in the Native Title process.
When one looks at how the Aboriginal Native Title rights and interests are dealt with, it is clear that the lawyers and anthropologists are not fulfilling the legal trust that has been conferred upon them. Continue reading

September 5, 2013 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, reference | Leave a comment

Radio: Adelaide the hub of military industrial intelligence nuclear complex

The issue isn’t nuclear power.  The issue is processing uranium for nuclear power that then can be used for defence 

You have to understand this in terms of  in terms of Adelaide, -it’s a military industrial intelligence complex 

Simons is connected to the University College of London  but basically he’s a front man for business interests,    We can clearly question what he is doing given the fact that he’s getting funding from indirect corporate sources.


Hear-This-wayAUDIO:    Nuclear Power in South Australia – a golden age? Radio Adelaide 23 Aug 13     Chris Komorek spoke with Dr David Palmer from Flinders University to explore the changing landscape. Produced by Ian Newton. TRANSCRIPT by Christina Macpherson 

Chris Komorek  As the uranium debate heats up, so does the destroyed reactor in Fukushima, Japan.The International Energy Policy Institute at the University College London’s Adelaide campus is advocating a ramped up nuclear industry here in South Australia. We’re joined by Dr David Palmer from Flinders University.

 Q. What level of support is there in industry and science for an expanded nuclear industry in South Australia?
 Dr David Palmer First of all you have to put this in context  The interviews you’ve had on Radio Adelaide over the last 2 days have really been interesting. Helen Caldicott’s question about  what motivates these people. She couldn’t quite get her head around that
  I think that actually Prof Simons has answered that. However did not give his real answer on your program Continue reading

August 29, 2013 Posted by | politics, reference, secrets and lies, South Australia, uranium, weapons and war | 3 Comments

Australian company Paladin’s uranium contract with Malawi -the “worst possible swindle”

secret-dealshighly-recommendedMalawi gov’t and Paladin: Act on Kayelekera uranium raw deal now! By Veronica Maele-Magombe Nyasa Times, By Veronica Maele-Magombe July 30, 2013  Since last week’s stinging observation by UnitedNations (UN) Special Raportuer on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter regarding Malawi’s Kayelekera Uranium Mine deal, two elusive culprits remain pretty much intact in their hard shells. It is as if the country’s most guarded contract between government and Australiancompany, Paladin Africa Ltd has not been unravelled as the worst possible swindle. Continue reading

August 1, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, reference, secrets and lies, uranium | Leave a comment

Media secrecy allowed Australian territory to become highly radioactively contaminated

secret-agent-AustDig for secrets: the lesson of Maralinga’s Vixen B The Conversation, Liz Tynan, 26 July 13  “……lack of knowledge about the British nuclear tests in Australia is not surprising. The tests were not part of the national conversation for many years. Even when older people remember that nuclear tests were held here, no-one knows the story of the most secret tests of all, the ones that left the most contamination: Vixen B.

Maralinga is a particularly striking example of what can happen when media are unable to report government activities comprehensively. The media have a responsibility to deal with complex scientific and technological issues that governments may be trying to hide. While Maralinga was an example of extreme secrecy, the same kind of secrecy could at any time be enacted again. With the Edward Snowden case, we have seen what can happen when journalists become complicit in government secrecy, and we have learned the press must be more rigorous in challenging cover-ups.

At Maralinga, part of our territory became the most highly contaminated land in the world. But the Australian public had no way of granting informed consent because no-one knew it was happening. Remediating the environmental contamination was delayed for decades for the same reason. While arguments might be mounted for the need for total secrecy at the time (although these arguments are debatable in the case of Vixen B), there was no reason to keep the aftermath totally secret as well. Continue reading

July 26, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, media, reference, South Australia | 1 Comment

Australia’s “Northern Territory Intervention” trashed the reputation of Aboriginals on behalf of mining industries

handsoffGovernment had made it clear that it wished to re-engage itself more directly in the control of community land through leasing options as well as to open up Aboriginal land for development and mining purposes.

The plan was to empty the homelands, and this has not changed. However, it was recognised that achieving this would be politically fraught – it would need to be accomplished in a manner that would not off-side mainstream Australia. Removing Aboriginal people from their land and taking control over their communities would need to be presented in a way that Australians would believe it to be to Aboriginal advantage, whatever the tactics.

So began the campaign to discredit the people and to publicly stigmatise Aboriginal men of the Northern Territory

And even in 2009 when the CEO of the Australian Crime Commission, John Lawler, reported that his investigation had shown there were no organised paedophile rings operating in the NT, no formal apology was ever made to the Aboriginal men and their families who were brutally shamed by the false claims.

highly-recommendedSixth Anniversary of the Northern Territory Intervention – Striking the Wrong Note Lateral Love Australia‘concerned Australians’ Michele Harris, 21 June 13 Aboriginal advocate Olga Havnen, in her Lowitja O’Donoghue oration has asked a critical question. She asks what has been the psychological impact of the Intervention on Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory. It is surprising that so little attention has been given to this critical, yet in some ways tenuous, link before now.

Even before the Intervention began in June 2007, government had long planned a new approach to the ‘management’ of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory. It was no longer part of government thinking that self-determination and Aboriginal control over land could be allowed to continue. These were the Whitlam notions of 1975 and they were no longer acceptable.

Early inklings of change occurred in 2004 with the management of grants being transferred from communities to Government’s newly established Indigenous Co-ordination Centres. More ominous were the Amendments of 2006 to the Aboriginal Land Rights Act and the memoranda of agreements that followed. Government had made it clear that it wished to re-engage itself more directly in the control of community land through leasing options as well as to open up Aboriginal land for development and mining purposes. Continue reading

July 1, 2013 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Northern Territory, reference, uranium | Leave a comment

Retransfer of Australian obligated plutonium to Australia’s major uranium market, Japan

Puhighly-recommendedAustralia-Euratom Nuclear Safeguards: Plutonium Retransfers …..The Agreement will enter into force when Australia notifies the Delegation to the European Commission that all domestic requirements necessary to give effect to the Agreement have been satisfied…. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Australian Government 01/06/2013 | Press release distributed by noodls

Australia and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) exchanged diplomatic notes in Canberra on 28 May 1998 as the first step towards bringing into force an Agreement under which Australia will – subject to certain conditions – broaden its consent for the return from the European Union to Japan of Australian obligated plutonium following the reprocessing of Japanese spent fuel in Europe. The European Union is an important provider of nuclear fuel cycle services for countries purchasing Australian uranium and Japan is a major market for Australian uranium exports. Continue reading

June 26, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, reference, wastes | Leave a comment

How Australian mining companies and governments grab Aboriginal land

eyes-surprisedThe aggressive neo-liberal land grab is dividing Aboriginal communities and even brothers. As one Traditional Owner in the
Northern Territory told me recently, “these mining deals can give one or two families a big pay but generally they don’t improve the
community. Money goes on a few new cars and more grog comes in. We never see things get better but someone is getting very rich on our land.”

In the Kimberley and Pilbara in Western Australia, across the Northern Territory, on Cape York and in parts of NSW and South Australia, it is disturbing to see the divide and conquer tactics of mining companies and governments………..

Privatisation of land is the neo-liberal spearhead hurled deep into the heart of the traditional Aboriginal way of life……..
The Intervention’s extraordinary damage to the Aboriginal sense of control and wellbeing makes it the gravest policy disaster in
Australia since the removal of Aboriginal children in the Stolen  Generations.

highly-recommendedhandsoffTHE WAY AHEAD: The new land grab Tracker, BY JEFF MCMULLEN, JUNE 21, 2013 NATIONAL: Neo-liberalism is a
hungry beast and this 21st Century strain of capitalism is shaping the agenda for control of Aboriginal lands, writes JEFF MCMULLEN.

You only have to listen to Professor Marcia Langton’s Boyer Lectures on ABC Radio or read Noel Pearson’s sermons on acquisition to see how this virulent form of free-market fundamentalism has gathered influential adherents, including policy makers in both political

Australian Government policy is heavily influenced by neo-liberalism through its extraordinary emphasis on managing access for mining
companies to resources on Aboriginal lands. This involves controlling what is still perceived as ‘the Aboriginal problem’ and forcing a
social transition from traditional values and Cultural practice to ‘mainstream’ modernism of a particular brand. It also involves
displacing many Aboriginal people from their traditional lands and concentrating them in ‘growth towns’. Continue reading

June 21, 2013 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, reference, uranium | Leave a comment

The dirt on Australia’s uranium industry, as it holds its “Paydirt” conference

bull-uncertain-uranium Yellowcake Fever.  Exposing the Uranium Industry’s Economic Myths  Report in full at:   by Dr Jim Green (FoEA) & Dave Sweeney (ACF), Australian Conservation Foundation, April 2013 (33 page PDF)  Executive Summary: The Australian uranium industry involves serious and unresolved domestic and international security, environmental and inter-generational concerns and remains a contested and controversial sector that lacks a secure social license. This report examines the sectors small economic and employment contribution in relation to its significant risks and legacies and seeks to build the case for an independent cost-benefit analysis and a comprehensive and transparent assessment of the impacts and implications of Australia’s uranium trade.

Uranium is a small contributor to Australian export  revenue and employment. From 2002 to 2011, uranium  sales averaged $627 million annually and accounted  for only 0.29% of all national export revenue. In the 2011/12 financial year, uranium revenue of  $607 million was 4.4 times lower than Australia’s 20th  biggest export earner, 8.7 times lower than Australia’s 10th biggest export earner and 103 times lower than the biggest earner, iron ore. Small industrial sectors can play an important economic role but the unique  properties and risks of uranium mining relative to any  benefits means its role requires particular scrutiny.

The industry’s contribution to employment is also  underwhelming. The World Nuclear Association  estimates 1,760 jobs in Australia’s uranium  industry. That is the highest of all estimates yet it  represents just 0.015% of all jobs in Australia. The  industry’s primary promotional body, the Australian  Uranium Association (AUA), claims its members  are “significant employers of First Australians”
however the sector only provides around one job  for every three thousand Indigenous Australians.

In the mid-2000s, there was a speculative uranium  price bubble. Since this bubble burst the uranium  industry has been battered by a falling commodity price,  rising production costs, the Global Financial Crisis  (and associated credit crisis), the failure of the global  nuclear power ‘renaissance’ to materialise, the failure to  develop new mines and serious production shortfalls……. Continue reading

April 27, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, reference, spinbuster, uranium | Leave a comment

Lynas rare earths company DOES have a radioactive waste problem

flag-MalaysiaLynas was attracted to Malaysia because it was offered tax free status for 10 years.

there was little mention of the waste — or “residue”, as Lynas prefers to call it.

Lynas and its supporters assert its operations are completely safe, but as NM reported on Monday, others — including scientists — are less confident.

The IAEA also recommended that Lynas proceed no further until it had filed comprehensive plans for the permanent disposal of waste, decommissioning of the plant and remediation of the site at the end of its life.

text ionisingLynas’ waste plans a toxic pipe dream  Aliran,   19 December 2012 Scientists and community leaders are concerned about radioactive waste from Lynas’ Malaysian plant but the company representative who took Wendy Bacon’s questions brushed off the criticism. This is the second of two articles about Lynas by Wendy BaconRead the first here. Australian rare earth company Lynas has always known it had a waste problem.

It plans to process rare earth concentrate, imported from its mine at Mount Weld in Western Australia, at its Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (Lamp) in Malaysia. It will not only produce rare earths for export but also a huge amount of waste, including more than a million cubic metres of low level radioactive material.

Lynas was originally going to build its Lamp plant in China, which produces more than 90 per cent of global rare earths. But according to its 2007 annual report, it decided to move to Malaysia, because the Chinese government was increasing its control over production, including applying environmental standards more strictly. Continue reading

December 20, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, rare earths, reference, uranium | Leave a comment

Radioactive toxicity from rare earths processing – gamma radiation

Hello, didn’t Lynas say wastes to be exported? Malaysiakini  Dec 10, 2012 Swipenter: Spending another RM2 million to install two units of radioactive detecting machinery is “unnecessary” expenditure. That is one callous and contemptous attitude towards the safety of Malaysians.

An Old Malaysian: The raw materials imported are not a danger to us due to the very low concentration of the radioactive elements.

However, if the raw materials are processed and the waste radioactive elements are being concentrated, they will become a threat to the environment, humans, animals, etc.

The danger is from the gamma radiation emitted by these radioactive elements. If in low concentration and exposure time is short, gamma radiation will be low and will not be harmful to us (for example, X-ray) but if the radioactive elements concentration is high (for example, Lynas waste products) they will be hazardous to all of us and the environment.

Why are the two radioactive detection monitoring systems – installed at Lamp and at the Kuantan police station – valued at RM2 million?

A Geiger-Mueller radiation detector will tell you if there is radiation emitted from the raw material.

December 11, 2012 Posted by | rare earths, reference, uranium | Leave a comment

How Aborigines were cheated out of their land in Victoria

The most important outcome of this event was that Batman became the first and possibly the only early Anglo-Australian to formally recognise the indigenous Aboriginal population as property owners.

On this day: annulment of the Batman treaty AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC 27 Aug 12 IN 2012, MOST MELBOURNIANS would be confused if you offered them a handful of tomahawks, a few handkerchiefs, some blankets and some scissors for their land. One hundred and seventy-seven years ago in the rough-shod days of early Australian settlement, however, they
represented a princely sum. And that is exactly what settler John Batman used for currency to acquire the 250,000ha on which Melbourne and Geelong sit. Continue reading

August 27, 2012 Posted by | aboriginal issues, history, reference, Victoria | Leave a comment


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